directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: NHL fantasy sleepers and busts

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

NHL fantasy sleepers and busts (which does a great job at covering the NHL btw!) has a good read up for those NHL fantasy players out there. Here are a couple of sleepers and busts from the article:

Eric Belanger, C, MIN: Belanger split time between Atlanta and Carolina and has been mostly a journeyman during his NHL career. However, he has averaged 16 goals over the past four seasons and might be ready to take the next step. With the offensively-conservative Minnesota Wild? As they like to say in St. Paul, you betcha! He is currently in line for either first- or second-line duty, which would line him up with either Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik or Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brian Rolston. Belanger is the definition of sleeper heading into 2007-08.

Shea Weber, D, NSH: Weber exceeded all expecations with 17 goals and 40 points last season, and that was with a roster including Kimmo Timonen, who has since been shipped to Philadelphia. Marek Zidlicky remains, but this is now Weber's team. When the Predators need someone to run the point it will be Weber, and that has to make Fantasy owners in keeper leagues smile. Some of your less studious Fantasy owners will be grabbing at the Roman Hamrliks, Ed Jovanovskis and Derek Morris' of the world and you'll be putting together a winning roster starting with Weber.

Niklas Backstrom, G, MIN: The Minnesota Wild were in a bind last season when Manny Fernandez went down with a knee injury. All Backstrom did was step in and produce 23 wins and a sparkling 1.97 GAA in his stead. In fact, he was so good that the team decided to part ways with Fernandez during the offseason. Before you decide to hang your hat long-term on Backstrom, understand that the Wild like to use a two-goaltender system. Also, they consider Josh Harding as the goaltender of the future, and he will get more starts than your typical backup. Look for perhaps a 60-40 split, which hurts Backstrom's Fantasy appeal.

Rick Nash, W, CLB: Nash was tied for the league-lead in goals in 2003-04 with 41. Ever since then, he has managed 58 goals and 111 points. That's pretty good production for a middle-round draft pick in your Fantasy leagues, but that's completely unacceptable for as high as Nash has been going. He'll likely be an early-round pick on Draft Day in your league this year, too. However, he has developed a propensity for injury and his plus/minus rating will always be poor in Columbus.

Anybody out there select any from his list? He certainly doesn't have the a ringing endorsement for Nash. Hopefully for our sakes, #61 proves to be more of a value pick this year than a bust.

Read more here.


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